Happy New Year!
Before the New Year, I was hoping to wrap up details and recaps from some of our remaining 2015 trips, but that obviously didn’t happen. In fact, I was planning on introducing this new lifestyle category on the blog, with an awesome post about my themed 30th birthday bash at a posh penthouse suite in Manhattan, but none of it seems right to talk about now. December has been the month from hell for Josh and I. On 12/17 we lost our best friend and baby, our Yorkie Davinci.
The end of our Hanukkah was rough, with vet visits, cooking him meals and trying to get him to eat, and administering at-home SUBQ IV treatments. He’s been loosing weight for a while now, and up until recently, the doctor associated it with old age. In September, he said his kidney levels were a little high, but not too crazy. He put him on k/d food and Azodyl supplements. In October, his weight didn’t drop super significantly, and after some good-looking X-rays and an Ultrasound, his kidneys looked pretty good. We weren’t scheduled to bring him in until January (yesterday, actually) for his normal yearly checkup. By December, he wasn’t acting like himself, and he seemed to lose even MORE weight. We brought him back in, and sure enough, he dropped from 7.5 lbs from September/October to 6 lbs! This was a dog who once weighed 10 lbs! They did another round of bloodwork, and his kidney levels were off the charts. His kidney failure just… happened. The weekend before he died, he actually seemed to be doing better. He gave us a good weekend, and we were hopeful. By Monday, we were still excited. Tuesday wasn’t as good, Wednesday was a decline, and Thursday, he was gone from us for forever. I honestly thought we were bringing him in on Thursday to give him an appetite stimulate or something. I thought his stomach was bothering him from eating so much over the weekend, since he started even turning away his treats. Nowhere in my mind was I prepared for the doctor to say this is his end. That he maybe had days, but they wouldn’t be good days.
I held him and rocked him as it happened. Josh, his mom, and my parents came to be there, and while everyone said how peaceful it was, I was inconsolable. Selfishly, I wanted to see him suffer to KNOW FOR SURE it was his end, because as long as his heart was still beating and he was still breathing, I wanted him here. It was hard to “do the right thing,” or hear that “we did the right thing.” That it was kind of us to not let him get to the point where he was suffering and scared, because all I want is him here. It’s hard to look over at all his favorite spots and not see him. It seems unfair that we’re here and he’s not. That his brother, our other yorkie Oliver is here, and he’s not. I’m told I’m considered lucky to never had to deal with loss as an adult, to have rescued Davinci when he was (approx.) 6 years old, and to have him until he was (approx.) 15 1/2, but I don’t feel lucky at all. I feel sad.
There’s been such an outpour of love and support from our friends and family. Our house is full of so many things to remember him by, but none of them are our little guy. Our home feels emptier, and to think this was his last year, month, week, days, hours… is devastating.
We buried him on Christmas Eve. We celebrated our first Christmas and New Year’s without him, and everything feels off. I feel like I’m at a point where I HAVE to put a smile on my face so people think that I’m okay (because it’s been about three weeks), but I’m not. There’s a massive, gaping hole inside of me.
There’s a ton of people out there who view dogs as “just pets,” and who don’t understand, but there’s also a ton of people out there like me. No matter what children Josh and I may have someday, Davinci will always be our first, and Oliver will always be our second. That’s who they were/are to us, our children. I thought I’d list some of the things that have really been helping me these past weeks, as we all go through unfortunate things in our lives.
- It’s sad to think that vets see this a lot. I’m so thankful ours thought to give me these important things that I now cherish, since at the time, I wasn’t in the right state of mind to think about it. Like before Davinci died, they took his paw print, and they also cut some locks of hair.
- The fact that he originally was going to be cremated made me KNOW that it’s not what I wanted for him. It’s SUCH a tough decision, and when it was made, it allowed me to REALLY know how I felt. First thing the next morning we called to have them hold him (which thankfully it wasn’t too late), and it made me feel better knowing that nothing will happen to his tiny little body and cute tongue. We ordered a BEAUTIFUL casket, large enough for him to be buried with his favorite things, like his favorite pillow and his blankets. We also had an inscription put on it, placed our picture inside, and I love that he’s still here, in the backyard, sealed air and water tight in this gorgeous casket that fits him like the that king he was. Friends of ours also got a beautiful stone made with his name and picture on it, and I can’t wait to plant a garden around him.
- In the days that followed, it made me feel good to look at his pictures, and boy do we have A TON. And videos too!! To see him SO HAPPY, and to see the life that we gave him was wonderful. I filed them into the years and backed it up a million times. I’d love to watch the videos more, but poor Oliver gets so excited when he hears Davinci’s voice, and it breaks my heart. We ended up creating an amazing lay-flat deluxe photobook from MyPublisher, with obviously the photos, but we added in stories too – our favorite memories and moments with him. While I have not seen it yet in person (it’s still in printing, and I’ve only seen the preview), it’s seriously one of my most treasured things ever. I can’t wait to read all the memories we filled it with.
- I cannot get over the amount of cards, flowers, candles, arrangements, etc, we received for this little guy! Every gift/card puts a smile on my face, because that’s what Davinci did, and to think of how loved he was by everyone makes me feel good! My sister in law had his name inscribed on a beautiful bracelet, and Josh found this amazing shop on Etsy that I contacted and am having a ring made. She custom makes everything, but the best part is, some of that hair the vet cut from him will be placed INSIDE the stone. No amount of diamonds or gorgeous jewelry (sorry, Josh), can ever compare to this piece.
Coping is a really difficult thing. Some days are better than others. We were supposed to see The Nutcracker in Lincoln Center the day after Christmas. We sold our tickets. We’re also supposed to go away for our anniversary next week, and while everyone says, ‘GO, it’ll be good,’ were unsure. It feels weird. Life feels weird.